ZAMBOANGA City Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has ordered the police and other law enforcement agencies to use the full force of the law and arrest the people involved in smuggling activities perpetrated within the city.
The mayor issued the order even as she expressed continuous dismay over the inability or lack of initiative on the part of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to cooperate and support the efforts of the local police and the city government including the villages against smugglers.
Salazar warned those involved in bringing contraband items to the city in guise of having legal documents citing “my instruction to the police is to check the documents and if they are not in accordance with the transactions, hulihin sila.”
Salazar lamented that the efforts of the City Government and other law enforcement agencies to intercept smuggled items become futile as the Bureau of Customs (BOC) do not do their part well.
She noted that the BOC would either say that they lack personnel and do not operate after office hours when the local police coordinate with the agency.
She cited an instance in the past when the local police backed by the village officials intercepted 1,500 sacks of smuggled sugar two years ago, “the number of sacks became only 300 when the items were brought to the Bureau of Customs.”
Salazar said nevertheless the local government will continuously support the police and other law enforcement agencies in their anti-smuggling efforts.